Confession time: I have a problem with books. Like, I have about 4 dozen too many. Books I will never use, books I had to have, books that were simply too cheap to not earn a place in a box in my father’s attic never to be seen again on my  book shelf. So, even though I am seeing other bloggers cook their way through cook books I want, am reading intersting reviews on cook books I really want to try, and am adding all sorts of new books to the ever growing wish list I am not allowing myself one more book purchase. Sure, if the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are going to bring them by, I’m not going to turn them away, but until I work my way through a few dozen of these and donate some others, it’s time for a lifestyle change before some PR rep thinks its a good idea to make a reality show about recipe organizing. (Remind me to fight for a cut of that when it’s a hit on HGN).

My favorite cook books are ones from used book stores, with stains and notes written into the pages, with pages stuck together from dried remnants of recipes made ages ago. The books that smell like old coffee and that something familiar that comforts you but you can’t put your finger on. Those are the books I turn to when I need to learn how to make something new. The dog eared pages from my boyfriends mom on the perfect key lime pie, the bread book from 1977, and the old Southern Living Annuals. Those books will never leave my book shelves. So, do I really need more? New shiny ones with glossy pictures are nice, and someday I’m sure I’ll lift my book ban and add them to my collection, but for now, it’s time to get back to the books I love.

Like Baked (yes, this is a relatively new book, but if you haven’t added it to your collection yet, you don’y know what your missing out on). My copy is slathered in butter, sticky with crumbs and has notations on many of the quality recipes inside. Like my fathers tiny Hershey’s cookbook, this will be one my family looks at and has fond memories of years from now.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake

From Baked


For the Crumb Topping:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teas salt
  • 3/4 cup pecans, toasted
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1″  cubes

For the Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teas dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teas cinnamon

For the Sour Cream Cake:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teas baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teas baking soda
  • 1/2 teas salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teas pure vanilla extract


Make the Crumb Topping: Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds to mix. Add the pecans and pulse until the pecans are finely chopped and thoroughly incorporated, about 15 1 second pulses.

Add the butter and pulse until combined.You’re going for a mixture that looks like very  coarse sand. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator.

Make the Cinnamon Swirl: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon and set aside.

Make the Sour Cream Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13″ baking pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth, about three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and add the sugar. Beat until smooth and starts to look fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each and scraping the sides as needed.

Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Add the flour mixture in three additions until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.

Pour one third of the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out with an offset spatula.  Cover with half of the cinnamon swirl mixture.

Pour one half of the remaining batter over the swirl mixture. and spread evenly again. Sprinkle remaining swirl mixture evenly over and top with the remaining batter. Top with the crumb topping. Go heavy on your crumb topping as most of it will bake into the cake.

Bake for 1 hour, rotating half way through cooking time, until golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.




  1. My amazon wish list is so long that I’m worried they’ll kick me off soon. (For breaking the interweb.) And when my mother told me I could have her collection of ancient cookbooks and family recipes when she… you know, reaches for her last muffin… I was over the moon. Best recipes ever – no fuss, basic ingredients – perfection. Oh the fingers that have run across those pages…

    This sour cream coffee cake looks like one of those classic, family recipes. Perfect for a holiday morning, or a lazy Sunday brunch. (Sigh.)

  2. I’ve been on a tear lately to find a good coffee cake/crumb cake recipe that we love and can make our “house standard.” So far I’ve rejected all the ones I’ve tried…not that it stopped us from eating them! 🙂 I like the fact that there is cocoa with the cinnamon in the swirl so I guess I’ll add this to the to-do list. Thanks. 🙂

  3. I have the SAME PROBLEM!!! My boyfriend always teases me because I have SO MANY COOKBOOKS (and magazines!), but for some reason I always have to make recipes from the internet… sometimes that are also from a cookbook that I already own…. 🙂

    I started drooling when I saw this recipe, and sure enough I have the book at home on my shelf…. maybe I’ll have to break it out and prove to the boyfriend that i CAN cook from one of my books! lol

    1. I’ll be honest, I have never baked with cottage cheese before so I am not sure. The sour cream is used to keep the cake very moist – so if cottage cheese can hold up the same under the time and temp, I say give it a whirl.

  4. I am also guilty of having too many cookbooks that I have never once cooked from. But I definitely agree that the ones I do open most frequently are the old ones. I especially like this one from my old elementary school where everyone’s parents contributed a family favorite recipe.

  5. Sour cream cake?! Yes!! My grandmother used to make sour cream cake all the time…soooo good. Yours look irresistible!

  6. I think most of us have a problem with books to a certain degree. Most of my have been in boxes for the last 6 months, which really shows how much I need them.

    Love this coffee cake! Need to make it – my family loves coffee cake!

  7. I looove baking with sour cream, but never tried it in a coffee cake. Looks delicious! 🙂

  8. I hoard cookbooks and rarely cook out of them, PW is one exception, obviously. This coffee cake looks so good. I love the crumbled topping — my favorite part on a coffee cake 🙂 thanks for linking back! I didn’t know you read my blog *blushes*

  9. David Crichton says:

    Am I being stupid here, does a coffe cake not have to have coffee in it or is that another American/English mistranslation. Just as well as I love to eat chocolate with a cup of coffee, but hate coffee chocolates. The cake looks like cake nirvana. Superb.

    1. Every coffee cake recipe I have ever made never has coffee. I believe it is named that because it is meant to be eaten with coffee, or as a ‘breakfast’ type cake. Seems like who ever created coffee cakes should have just named them breakfast cakes.

  10. I’m sure those TPs are taking up alot of space on your bookshelves as well 😉 You ready for FCBD?!!!

    Great coffee cake. Sour cream is such a fantastic sneaky ninja ingredient for the best baked goods. LOVE IT!

  11. Kita this one is a winner..looks amazing and would totally have it with my afternoon tea! Well done, I really love your recipe and photos!

  12. I want this cookbook and yet somehow I never buy it!!! I have lots of cookbooks some from my mother some that were used and most are given to me by my husband. He buys me books he knows I won’t buy for myself and it makes them that much more dear. I will eventually buy this book for myself. Based on all the wonderful treats I have seen you post from it I am TOTALLY missing out.

  13. this is beautiful. i have a thing with books too! although i often throw stuff away, but i never learn from my mistakes.

  14. Every Sunday in college we had brunch which included coffee cake. It was my special treat. This looks just like it and I cannot wait to have that little sweet bliss again. Yum!

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